Could a Joker sequel happen? The jury is very much out on that one, but Joaquin Phoenix isn’t ruling anything out and even has some ideas about where it could go. Speaking with The Los Angeles Times, Phoenix addressed the possibility of revisiting the role. But he’s not just going to do it for the sake of doing it, he would need a good reason.
“Long before the release or before we had any idea if it would be successful, we talked about sequels,” Phoenix said. “In the second or third week of shooting, I was like, ‘Todd [Phillips], can you start working on a sequel? There’s way too much to explore.’ It was kind of in jest—but not really.”
Director Todd Phillips, for his part, has said Joker was meant to be a one-off. But that was then, this is now. Joker has now earned more than $900 million at the global box office, well on its way to $1 billion, and is set to become one of the most profitable movies of 2019. Warner Bros., undoubtedly, would do just about anything to get Phoenix and Phillips back together again.
“I wouldn’t just do a sequel just because the first movie is successful,” Phoenix said. “That’s ridiculous.” So, if this is indeed something that Phillips and Warner Bros. want to explore, they would need to come up with a good reason to make it happen.
“I basically said, ‘You could take this character and put him in any movie,’ ” Phoenix said. “So I did a photo shoot with the on-set photographer and we made posters where I Photoshopped Joker into 10 classic movies: ‘Rosemary’s Baby,’ ‘Raging Bull,’ ‘Yentl …’ If you see it, you’re like, ‘Yeah, I’d watch that movie.’ ‘Yentl’ with Joker? That would be … amazing!”
In as much as that was likely just for fun, Phoenix seems interested in exploring the character further. And, not to spoil it for those who maybe haven’t seen Joker, but the door was at least left a little open for something more to take place, should all the necessary parties decide to do it. But, Phoenix previously said there was something quite attractive about a one-and-done with no expectations.
“I guess the fear was that you’d get locked into doing something repeatedly that you don’t really care about, that doesn’t motivate you or excite you,” Phoenix said “Part of the whole attraction to me [of ‘Joker’] was there was no expectation. I didn’t sign a deal to do [more movies]. It was a one-off.”
Here is the official synopsis for Joker.
“Forever alone in a crowd, Arthur Fleck seeks connection. Yet, as he trods the sooted Gotham City streets and rides the graffitied mass transit rails of a hostile town teeming with division and dissatisfaction, Arthur wears two masks. One, he paints on for his day job as a clown. The other he can never remove; it’s the guise he projects in a futile attempt to feel he’s a part of the world around him, and not the misunderstood man whom life is repeatedly beating down. Fatherless, Arthur has a fragile mother, arguably his best friend, who nicknamed him Happy, a moniker that’s fostered in Arthur a smile that hides the heartache beneath. But, when bullied by teens on the streets, taunted by suits on the subway, or simply teased by his fellow clowns at work, this social outlier only becomes even more out of sync with everyone around him.”